Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks” and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which occurs seven weeks after Passover. Shavuot, like many other Jewish holidays, began as an ancient agricultural festival that marked the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. In ancient times, Shavuot was a pilgrimage festival during which Israelites brought crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, it is a celebration of Torah, education, and actively choosing to participate in Jewish life.
Read more about Shavuot.
Each year at Shavuot, Beth Israel holds a Confirmation ceremony, the culmination of a year-long, intensive educational program for tenth grade students. The Confirmation program gives our teens the opportunity to debate and discuss Jewish values and traditions with our rabbis. Part of the curriculum includes spending a weekend in Washington, D.C.,to participate in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, where they learned how lobbying influences politics, and about major social issues, like homelessness, reproductive rights, and disability rights. They learned how to put Jewish values into action in our lives.
Our Confirmation service at Shavuot is completely written and led by our confirmands. This is an important celebration in our Youth Engagement year, and our community comes out in force to support our teens.